People are Morons: I think 9 out of 10 people who criticize Nithyananda will anyday choose to follow Nithyananda types as opposed to a bonafide Sanyasi, who propagates religion in a very sincere and puristic fashion. People fundamentally have forgotten what religion looks, smells and feels like. Probably because they are so sold on a liberalized definition of religion to the point where - if religion was a cow, people would argue their asses off to claim that a cow need not moo, it need not have 4 legs, it need not give milk, it need not eat grass etc etc in order for it to be considered a cow. The liberals among the religious want the loosest definition of religion possible. A definition that is totally predicated on people not doing any work.
Consider this example which happens often in today's world. Some people approach a true Yathee, who puristically adheres to a samparadayam and practices his belief with near perfect sincerity and ask him for religious advise. This sanyasin will ask them to read a lot of books, do trikala sandhyavandanam, visit temples, learn slokas, practice aahara niyamanam, wear dresses appropriate for temple/visiting a religious person, and probably ask people to join classes that require time, effort and commitment. This is certainly very boring for people who want fast food. So they say "right..." and find someone who can redefine religion that fits their schedule (which is about 5 - 10 minutes devoted to religious activities per week). And one who allows them to visit an ashram in jeans and tees.
And the 'many right ways' fallacy: While any religious text worth reading stresses that if a person does not do trikala sandhyavandanam then there no point in him trying to attain god, the *.nanda will calmly tell people that "there is no single way to approach god". This, in spite of having no logic, for some reason has extra-ordinary appeal to people. Maybe because it makes people think they can never be wrong. Sort of boosts their ego. Apparently "more than one solution" lands in people's mind as "anything you do is a solution". So people's new mantra suddenly is "many ways to approach god and everybody is right in whatever they do". This allows them to alter duration/date/time of religious functions, not visit temples (the "kadavul manasula irundha porum" clause ), change every rule that falls in the religious category by claiming "this is all superstition. Changing this is not wrong. There is no one right way to approach god". This is until they find out that *.nanda considers humping actresses as one such way to approach god. Now, it appears, there are a few wrong ways to approach god. Reminds me of case interview coaching in MBA days which has the same mantra of "there is no one right way to solve a case". The fools who took it literally and solved cases any which way realized that there were a billion wrong ways to solve cases and only a few miniscule proportion of right ways. And those few right ways had a huge common denominator.
Basic Knowledge: Most of these new hi-tech Saamiyars are not trained in religon. They do not know anything about it. Regardless of people's atheistic/theistic views, most would readily agree that in order for anyone to be a guide for people in field 'X' they need to actually know 'X'. In the past and with certain muths in the present, people who are appointed as religious heads of a religious institution are those who have undergone 18-20 years of education in the field of religion. They don't go to school and study 4th standard 12th standard etc. They actually go to an alternate school and get educated on the agamas, learn the 4 vedas, sastras. On top of it they learn aagara/aahara niyamanam, method of conducting rituals. Then they live another 20 years, either practicing their education or getting deep into philosophies on which their religion is based. They display their knowledge to the public with their commentaries on fairly nuanced stuff, they conduct upanyasams and generally establish a track record. Very similar to how any business professional would go about creating a track record in a company. They are then chosen to lead a religious institution.
*.nanda does not know anything about Sanaathana Dharma. In one particular lecture of his, my friend asked Nithyananda a basic question on Bhagavad Geetha and Nithyananda side-stepped the question and threw back some bull-crap in English. He has not had any sort of formal training in religion. I can superficially say that he is a 'dubagoor' by looking at his face. But a deeper look at his youtube videos bring you to same inevitable conclusion. To be sure that mine is not a caste argument and that I am not dissing the Sai Babas, the Maatas and *.nandas because they are non-brahmins : You don't need to a brahmin to be a head of a religious institution (as a lot of Azhwars and Saivite/Vaishnavaite Saints have shown). However, there is a specific set of criteria one has to meet, rituals one has to perform and standards one has to adhere to in order for him to be considered valid. It is like holding a doctor's license. The *.nanda seeks to side-step all this lack of training by connecting with 'youth' in English, using their charisma to earn respect, and saying a few obvious things about pressures faced by kid in "the IT world". This sleight of hand and a few superficial Bhagavad Geetha quotes ensures that his knowledge is never bought into the question.
This perfect marriage between people who say "I want religion in 30 days" and Swamijis who offer "If you want to give peanuts then my monkey can hump you" gives rise to the *.nanda phenomena.
The anti-Hindu Media: Firstly media outlets, especially in Tamil Nadu, are surgically precise in pointing out scandals in hinduism. Their concept of liberalism is filtered and laser sharp machine that deals only in negatives about hinduism. So something like this will never get the kind of TV attention that a *.nanda scandal gets. Infact media outlets are afraid to carry news of a certain kind.
Secondly, the hidden agenda becomes obvious once such scandals break loose. Its a clear missionary advt to people by Sun TV that says "Dear people - all saints in hinduism are like this. Go convert to other religions". Essentially a quack like *.nanda (who claims to be an incarnation of God) is merged and spoken in same terms as a head of a 1000 year old Muth (whose job description reads - coach/guide). And it is very easy for people to fall for it. Cross-belts who you think will know better (in reality they don't but that is differet story) - for the sake of peer pressure or for sake of saying something - contribute to the merge by saying "all are like this wonly". Sometimes, I have these visions of becoming the monarch of thamizh Nadu or a a Dravida Kazhagam activist and dream of yanking out the cross-belts out of the idiots who go and worship Saibaba, nithyananda, Kalki, maataji (amma), amritananda mayee, arabindo mother, and other such nonsense. Not that I'd spare the non-cross-belts. They'd just get a different treatment. Naming their kids MairapudingiNanda, Sayee Kumar, Payee Kumar, in order to show their bhakthi. And acting all enraged when they find out about sex scandals. What else were they expecting from people who claim to be god themselves?
The law: Running a fake university is illegal, operating w/o a doctor's license is illegal but being a fake sanyasi is apparently not a legal subject. And so *.nanda can walk free. Separation of church and state, especially when Narakasuran is ruling TN may be a good idea for the protection of hinduism. But the reason hinduism will speed towards death is neither Narakarsuran nor the italian-pumped-in-money to Nagercoil churches and missionaries. It is the lack of quality enforcement with the religion and the ability of any idiot to all himself a God man. At least write an exam on the 4 vedas for god's sake.
Disclaimer: While I consider him to be a victim of money/property polictics, I may not consider Jayendra Saraswathi to be a valid Saint either.